During Parkinson’s Awareness Month, CHRISTUS St. Michael Tells a Personal Story of Recovery

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April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, when patients, families and experts work together to spread awareness of this condition. This year, CHRISTUS St. Michael is helping tell the story of a Northeast Texan and their journey.

Charles Hlavinka, 89, has been a tax attorney in town for 63 years… working hard for his clients and community for more than 63 years. In 2019, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

After undergoing a procedure to have a pacemaker implanted in December 2021, Hlavinka struggled with low oxygen levels and weakness. Because these were worsened by his Parkinson’s Disease, Hlavinka’s doctor prescribed Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapies. As a previous patient, he was already familiar with CHRISTUS St. Michael and chose for the skilled team for his therapy, looking to build on what he calls “a great experience and success.”

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Before therapy, Mr. Hlavinka could not lift his arms and needed help walking. He was confined to a wheelchair. He could not sit for any amount of time nor walk from his house to the car. On a scale of 1-10, he said he was a 2. After therapy, Mr. Hlavinka had better use of his arms. He walks with a walker and can walk from his car to the house. On a scale of 1-10, he now says he is an 8-9! He can sit at his desk to work on taxes for his clients and is still an active consultant for some of them!

Hlavinka says the treatment has given him hope – that he’s learned to manage his disease and not let it manage him. It’s provided a relief of emotional stress for his wife, restoring independence for them both.

• It’s estimated that there are currently close to 1 million Americans living with Parkinson’s Disease and more than 10 million worldwide.

• More than 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year,
That number is trending upward, with the Parkinson’s Foundation estimating that more than 1.2 million American’s will be living with the disease by 2030.

CHRISTUS St. Michael experts can offer insight into the disease, recovery and how to take action. Plus, experts can discuss therapy and lifestyle efforts including exercise other strategies to cope with Parkinson’s.

For more information about therapies for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, please call 903-614-4452.

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